Horrifying photos of the 'river' of garbage plaguing Beirut
A river of refuse, which snakes through Beirut's suburb of Jdeideh, has been building there since the city's main landfill shut down last July.Here's a glimpse of the stinking problem:Advertisement
(Images and some captions from Reuters)
The problem started last July, when city authorities shut down the main landfill without opening an alternative dumping site.
Residents opened a makeshift dump in the yard of a residential building, and it's only been growing since then.Advertisement
Experts say the trash crisis is a symptom of bigger problems for the country, many of which have worsened since the civil war in neighboring Syria began.
The Lebanese government has not been able to pass a budget since 2005; the office of president has been empty for more than a year.Advertisement
At one point, British company Chinook Urban Mining agreed to export some of the waste to Russia.
But the company didn't get the necessary paperwork done, and the deal fell through.Advertisement
Residents worry about the risk that the growing river of garbage may pose to their health. In spite of a government ban, people have been burning the garbage, which releases toxic pollutants and carcinogens into the air.
The untreated garbage also threatens to contaminate Beirut's water supply.Advertisement
The crisis has sparked protests, with people calling for Minister of the Environment Mohamad Al Machnouk to resign. Here, some protesters are seen leaving garbage at an entrance to the environment ministry in downtown Beirut on September 15, 2015.
On Lebanon's Independence Day, November 22, 2015, another group of protesters wore black T-shirts that read, respectively: "Corrupt minister, leader from 60 years, bribe."Advertisement
While the problem has not been resolved, some residents have taken an active role in sorting the trash. Here, recyclable plastic bottles are seen piling up in Beirut's Martyrs' Square.
Despite these efforts, the problem is still growing.Advertisement
And there's no solution in sight.
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